Many of the homeless could not be contacted, including "hundreds who couch surf" with friends for lack of money, according to Carol Zanon, vice-chair and secretary for the Oroville Homeless Coalition.
The grassroots organization, Zanon
said, started about four and a half years ago as a "last resort" emergency measure to assist homeless families or those in danger of being evicted.
With the help of local churches, they have assisted about 30 Oroville-area women with children, getting some into apartments by paying their deposits, utilities and first month's rent.
...Zanon, a training supervisor for Butte County Children's Services, said there are many reasons families find themselves homeless.
Many women are fleeing domestic violence.Some working parents simply don't make enough to afford rent.
"How can someone who makes $1,300 a month pay $900 in rent, and provide for the other necessities of life for themselves and their family?"Zanon
The organization's long-term goal is to raise enough money to establish a homeless center in Oroville, modeled after the Sabbath House, which provides a safe haven in Chico for women with children.
"What we envision is a shelter for women and children to live at, from where they can work to establish permanency, apply for grants, find a job, locate permanent housing, day care, etc.," noted Zanon
In the meantime, the homeless coalition is "helping one family at a time in whatever way needed to help families find a clean, safe place to live and work from, maintain their dignity and above all, stay together," she